Frequently Asked Questions




Auto cook programmes
Available on some microwave models, this function automatically calculates the cooking time and power levels once you enter the weight and type of food.
Automatic defrost
This function automatically regulates the temperature in your fridge to prevent moisture and frost building up.


Built in appliances
These types of appliance are designed to be built into kitchen furniture.


Capacity (litres)
This refers to the internal capacity of an appliance.
Ceramic hob
These hobs have a tough ceramic glass surface with heating elements beneath. Heat is conducted through the glass into the pan.
Charcoal filters
These are necessary for extractor hoods if you need to operate the hood in recirculation mode. These filters need to be replaced regularly according to use.
Child lock
This is a safety feature on some appliances which prevents children from altering any options or programmes you have chosen and prevents accidental misuse and unnecessary accidents.
Combination microwaves
These ovens combine the benefits of a microwave, grill and oven. You can use the functions independently or together.
Conventional oven
Heated by an electric element or gas burner, the temperature is controlled by a thermostat in the middle of the oven meaning that the air is slightly hotter in the top of the oven than it is at the bottom.
Crease guard
At the end of a wash programme the drum continues to turn intermittently, preventing your clothes from settling into folds or creases and making ironing much easier.


Decibels - dBA
The noise level of many appliances is measured in decibels. The lower the value, the quieter the appliance.
Delay timer
A useful function that can be found on some models of washing machines, tumble dryers and dishwashers, which allows you to pre-set the start of a wash or dry programme for up to 24 hours.
Double ovens
These consist of two ovens, one above and one below. The top oven is normally a conventional oven with a main fanned oven below.
Drum capacity
This refers to the capacity of the drum where the clothes are loaded for washing or drying. The greater the drum capacity, the more washing you can do at one time.
Drying load
This is the maximum weight of laundry the tumble dryer can effectively dry in one load. As a rule of thumb, the drying capacity of a washer dryer tends to be half the wash capacity.


Economy wash
In a washing machine or washer dryer, this setting automatically reduces the washing temperature but maintains the length of the washing cycle.
Electric sealed plate or solid plate hob
Traditional style hob which provides excellent heat distribution across the base of the saucepan. They are especially suited to cast iron cookware.
Energy efficiency
This refers to the amount of energy the appliance consumes. Appliances are rated for energy from A to G, with A being the most efficient. Choosing an appliance with the top energy efficiency rating will cut down on running costs and be kinder to the environment.
Extractor Hood
An extractor hood is positioned above a hob and is designed to remove steam, grease and cooking smells when running, by either extracting the air via ducting to the outside or recirculating it back into the kitchen via a grease filter and then a charcoal filter.


Fan-assisted ovens
Fanned ovens have a rear ran which has a circular element around it. The fan circulates heat evenly around the inside of the oven.
Fixed grill
The temperature of this grill type is fixed and cooking is controlled by raising or lowering the grill pan.
Flame failure devices (FFD)
FFD's automatically shut off the fuel supply to a gas hob to prevent gas flow should the flame go out for whatever reason thereby making the hob safer. These can also be known as Flame Supervision Devices or Flame safety devices (FSD).
From 1st January 2008 it became a legal requirement that only gas hobs fitted with FFD's can be installed in flats and multi-dwelling properties.
Freezer star rating
The star rating system for a freezer tells you what type of food you can freeze and how long you can store it for. The higher the number of stars, the longer frozen food can be safely stored. A 4* freezer lets you freeze fresh food and store it for up to 3-12 months.
Frost free freezer
The build up of frost is prevented by circulating cold air throughout the freezer maintaining an even temperature, ensuring you don't need to manually defrost the freezer.


Half load programme
Economical washing programme where you have small amounts of washing. This uses less water and energy than a full load setting.
Heat settings
There are normally two heat settings on a tumble dryer; one for cottons and one for synthetics.


Induction hob
Induction cooking is as quick and as controllable as cooking with gas. The hob works by using a magnetic field to heat the pan rather than through heat conducted through the ceramic surface of the hob. Induction hobs are only suitable for use with pans with a magnetic base.
Integrated appliances
This type of appliance is designed to be hidden behind a panel or cabinet doors, giving a seamless look to your kitchen.


Larder fridge
A larder fridge is designed without an ice box or freezer compartments maximising its storage capacity.
LED auto programmer / clock
The digital programmer allows you to set the oven and start and finish cooking at preset times. In many double ovens the programmer will only operate the main oven.
Load capacity - Washing machine and washer dryer
Wash load capacity is measured in kilograms. This is the maximum weight of laundry that the washing machine can effectively wash in one load.
Load capacity - Tumble dryer
These range from 3 - 6kg. This is the maximum weight of laundry that the tumble dryer can effectively dry in one load.
LPG convertible
Some gas appliances can be converted to Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG). If this is possible, LPG conversion kits are normally supplied.


Metal grease filters
Most hoods are fitted with metal grease filters panels. These panels normally last for the lifetime of the hood and simply need washing by hand (many can be washed in the dishwasher) to maintain optimum performance.
Microwave with Grill
The convenience of a microwave with the benefit of an internal grill. Great for browning and grilling food.
Minute minder
The timer is set for the cooking time needed and an alarm signal sounds at the end.
Multifunction electric oven
These allow you to choose different combinations of heating elements and fan depending on what you are cooking.


Pre wash programme
Useful when washing heavily soiled items.


Rinse hold programme
This stops the wash programme at the last rinse and will only start to spin when deactivated. Useful if you want to delay spinning until you are ready to reduce creasing of items in the washer.
Reverse tumble
The drum in the tumble dryer rotates both ways, pausing in between. This separates the laundry ensuring it dries more evenly and quickly.
Reversible door
This means the door on an appliance can be hung to allow right or left hand opening.


Safety glass shelves
These shelves are made of safety glass which has the advantage of holding the temperature better and avoiding any danger of drips from food contaminating food on a shelf below. They also tend to be more hygienic as they are easier to clean.
Spin performance
Spin performance is measured on a grade from 'A' to 'E' with A rated machines being the most efficient and removing the most water during the spin cycle.
Spin speed
The faster the spin speed, the more water is extracted from your washing and the quicker the drying time.


Touch controls
Sensor controls are activated by light pressure through touching the display.


Variable grill
Controls allow you to set the cooking temperature of the grill elements.
Variable spin speeds
Some washers allow you to adjust the spin speeds giving you flexible washing options for different fabrics.
Variable wash temperatures
On some washers you can select a lower wash temperature although the length of the wash cycle stays the same. It won't let you do this the other way round, so you can't select too high a temperature by mistake.
Vented dryers
These take the damp air produced by drying clothes and expel it from the room, usually through a plastic hose hung out of a window or connected to a permanent vent through a wall.
Viewing angle
The viewing angle on a TV is the maximum side angle from which the viewer can see the screen clearly.


Wash performance
A washing machine is measured on its effectiveness at cleaning and removing stubborn stains and graded from 'A' to 'E' with 'A' rated machines being the most efficient.
Wash programmes
All washing machines have a number of pre-programmed wash cycles which allow you to choose a machine best suited to your washing needs.
Wok burner
A large high-powered gas burner used for stir frying or rapid boiling.